April 17, 2013
The University of Virginia Police department is investigating a bizarre crime near the medical center, where someone stole an ambulance early Wednesday morning.
Whoever took the ambulance only drove it a few hundred feet away from the emergency department and abandoned it.
Police say a crew from the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad left its ambulance around 4 a.m. Wednesday to take a patient inside the hospital. When the crew returned, the ambulance was gone.
The truck was found just a short time later at the intersection of Lee Street and Roosevelt Brown Boulevard, not far from the emergency entrance.
Police say they have "very positive" leads to follow up on and are expecting a quick resolution.
"An ambulance is not a small vehicle, and it's not a very discreet vehicle," UVa. Police Lt. Melissa Fielding said. "It could be that it wasn't a premeditated event and it just happened by opportunity and wasn't very well thought out."
It's not the first time someone took an ambulance while it was idling. In March 2011, a patient from the hospital hopped into a Greene County Rescue Squad ambulance and led police on a chase.
There is a sign at the medical center telling crews not to leave the ambulance's engine running. However, each rescue squad has different protocols and procedures to follow.